Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reading Harry Potter With My Mom: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Plus Order of the Phoenix)

Mom and I have now read Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. I didn't get a chance to write up GoF, which we finished in October, so I'm adding it to OotP, which was finished just before New Years. Shall we proceed?

Goblet of Fire is really where the series transitions from children's series to young adult. It gets darker and the characters are starting to leave childhood behind and enter the beginnings of adulthood. Voldemort's getting stronger, Harry and Ron have what may be their worst fight of the series, the world is hitting that point of no return when nothing will ever be the same again. We have our first real death. It's not the series it's been for the last three books.

This book also had a ton of accents. Which kind of drove me as the narrator insane. Especially trying to flip from Scottish to my normal accent to French to Russian and back. This moment of "Death to all accents!" brought to you by Madame Maxime, Fleur Delacour, Rubeus Hagrid, Igor Karkaroff, and Viktor Krum.

Group pic of the foreign wizards at the photo shoot for the Triwizard news article (art by hooraylorraine on deviantart)

This is the book where we also find out that Snape used to be a Death Eater. Which is actually something that is a huge deal and since I've known this fact for a long time, I sometimes forget how huge it was. But Mom's reaction reminded me. Because after I read that Snape was a Death Eater, I swear to god, she whipped around and did an exact impersonation of Dramatic Chipmunk.

"Snape a Death Eater?! My god man!"

We've also realized (and this may be hitting Mom more than me) just how much of the light-hearted moments and Harry just getting to be a teenager is left out of the movies. Goblet of Fire is one of the thickest books. And yet its movie is one of the shortest in the franchise. Characters were discarded, moments like the letter with too many stamps and the Ton-Tongue Toffeee were done away with, and back story is slashed. Plus, one of my favorite characters (and Mom's), Pigwidgeon is never introduced. Plus the great moment of Hermione's revenge on Rita Skeeter.

Hermione's conspiracy theories are always correct. (art by mazokups on deviantart)

And then we moved on to Order of the Phoenix. Or, as I like to call it, The Rise of Angst Harry. Alternatively: Harry Potter and the Year of ALL CAPS. Because Harry is angry and edgy through out the entirety of this year. I mean, who can blame him seeing as people are suspicious of him and think he's a nutter? But he does seem to do an inordinate amount of shouting.

Umbridge is introduced this year and my mom wanted her to burn in a fiery pit of molten lava and poisonous snakes. Which is of course the appropriate reaction to Umbridge. Next to Voldemort and Bellatrix, she may be the most evil character in the entire series. But Umbridge+Angst!Harry= Sarcastic Harry. Who just may be my favorite Harry of all. Because his sarcasm is just absolutely hilarious.

I tried to find a picture of sarcastic Harry but this is as close as I got

Plus, with the introduction of Umbridge, we get sarcastic and witty McGonagall who hates Umbridge meddling. Actually, one of the best things about this book is that all of Hogwarts (except for Flich and most of the Slytherins) completely hate Umbridge and undermine her at every turn. But McGonagall vs Umbridge is the greatest piece. One of the best exchanges in the book is McGonagall speaking with Harry after Umbridge sends him to her office. "Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?" "Yes" "Youcalled her a liar" "Yes" "You told her He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back?" "Yes" "Have a biscuit, Potter." The entire force of teachers hating her is fantastic
Miverna McGonagall: Better than You since 1935 (art by wotchertons7 on deviantart)

And of course, Mom loved the Weasley twins and their attacks on Umbridge. As well as the teachers just saying "Screw it, you can deal with all of it" and even using her own words and rules against her. She agreed that the exit of Fred and George deserved a better filming than happened in the movie, because it is just such a wonderful moment and rallying point of solidarity for the school. This is one moment where it would have been nice if Peeves existed.

by Laura Freeman
"Give her hell from us, Peeves. Oh wait, you don't exist." (art by Laura Freeman)

This is also the book where you start to fall even more in love with Neville. He has had every bit the hardship that Harry has, and while Harry's parents may be gone, I think Neville may have it worse off, with parents who probably can't even remember who he is. But still he loves them and wants to make them proud. I think the reason he hasn't told anyone about them is that he wants to protect them from cruel comments. I very much started choking up and crying a little when I was reading the scene where Neville's in St. Mungo's on Christmas. And Neville totally has Harry's back 100%, even when Harry doesn't want him at the Battle of the Ministry. He never leaves Harry to defend himself, even when he's got a broken nose and can't cast incantations right. But still he stays. Because he though he's loyal as a Hufflepuff, he is also every bit as brave as a Gryffindor.

If you didn't get choked up at this part, you're dead inside (art by Laverinth on deviantart)

This book probably had the most emotionally draining last six chapters until Deathly Hallows. And we read from the Battle at the Ministry through to Dumbledore talking with Harry after Sirius's death (about four chapters) in one sitting. There was screaming and emotional trauma and my voice was wrecked for the next two days, but I think that part needed to be read in one go. It gives the full impact of the emotion and you get the heartbreak of Sirius' death along with the aftermath of loss. Plus Dumbledore answers a lot of the questions that have been building in the series. Mom though was both upset about Sirius' death and angry that Rowling keeps killing people off. It was a very emotional night.

Basically my emotions that night (art by toerning on deviantart)

Although we did have a moment of Dumbledore is a badass and can do whatever the hell he wants. Because he's Albus Frickin' Dumbledore. He brings and entire set of bronze statues to life and sends two off to get Fudge while the others stay to fight and protect. He fights Voldemort (one of the most powerful Dark wizards in history) while simultaneously keeping an eye on Harry to make sure Voldemort doesn't hurt him. If he doesn't want to be found, he won't be found, no matter who is looking for him. He is so badass that his pet if a creature who never dies and will only stay with you if it really bonds with you. He dies because he allows it to happen, not because he was beaten. You do not mess with Albus Dumbledore.

Battle in the Ministry, by Beeeb
"I am Albus Percival Wulfic Brian Dumbledore. Do not even think about it." (art by Beeeb on Deviantart).

We have now begun Half Blood Prince. Which is surprisingly shorter than Order of the Phoenix. The end is nigh. Bring the tissue.

1 comment:

  1. Terry "the Dad"July 1, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    Dumbledore is Obi-wan Kenobi.